Astrakhan is located in the south-east of European Russia, in the Caspian Lowland, in the lower reaches of the Volga river. The region is a part of the Southern Federal District and is a border region: by land it borders on the Republic of Kazakhstan and on Azerbaijan Republic, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan by sea. The Volgograd region and the Republic of Kalmykia are the Astrakhan region’s neighbours in the Russian Federation. Total area of the region is 49.0 thousand square meters. The region consists of 11 rural areas, 442 villages and settlements. Besides the regional center there are 5 towns in the region – Akhtubinsk, Kamyzyak, Znamensk, Kharabali, and Narimanov. Over 1 million people live in the Astrakhan region. Half of them live in the regional center – Astrakhan City. Astrakhan is famous for its cultural traditions, dating back to the remote past. Representatives of over 140 nations and nationalities live here. All world religions have found here their adherents. Our townsman, poet Velimir Khlebnikov called Astrakhan the triangle of Christ, Mohammed and Buddha. In spite of its multinational structure, Astrakhan has always been and still remains one of the most politically stable regions of Russia.
Astrakhan airport is class III international airport with capacity of 400 passengers per hour. At the moment air carriers “Siberia”, “UTair”, “Airflot”, “Avianova”, “ARMAVIA”, “AZAL”, “SKAT” perform regular flights to Moscow, Baku, Aktau, Erevan. There are international and charter flights to Turkmenistan (Turkmenbashi), Ukraine, Kazakhstan (Alma-Aty) and other CIS and foreign countries. It is planned to organize domestic flights to Saint-Petersburg and Voronezh. Turkish Airlines have promotion flight direct from Istanbul to Astrakhan (5 April to 31 May for only PR 114 USD
Wikitravel has a guide to Trans-Siberian Railway.
From May to September Direct trains run from Moscow to Astrakhan every other day. Carriage with numbered reserved seats cost RUR 1,600 one way.
In the summer a large number of domestic Russian cruise ships operate lines from Moscow to Astrakhan. The journey takes approximately 10 days along the Volga, but this is an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience.
Transport network of the region is constituted by over 7 thousand km of automobile roads, 65 active ferries and 275 bridges. International transport corridor E-40 “West-East” crosses Astrakhan region. It links Western and Eastern Europe with Kazakhstan, Central Asia and China through the south of Russia (Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Astrakhan). Besides, roads M-6 “Kaspiy” Moscow (Kashira) – Astrakhan, Astrakhan – Elista – Stavropol, Astrakhan – Atyrau (Kazakhstan) play an important role in the transport infrastructure of the Astrakhan region.
Astrakhan tourism has a clearly defined trend – fishing and hunting. Our region occupies 25-30% of Russian market for fishing and hunting, which have already become the brand of the Astrakhan region. At the same time other kinds of tourism are developing, such as cultural and educational tourism, eco-tourism, cruises, business travelling and event tourism.
River cruises down the Volga operate during the summer months (early May to end of September). Dozens of boats operated by different companies run from Moscow to Astrakhan. One way or return cruises may be reserved to/from practically any city along the Volga. Turflot.ru and infoflot.ru are several sites that offer tours.
Sample price for cruise: Moscow to Astrakhan (one-way) with three daily meals is RUR 15,000 (approximately 500USD). Without meals, approximately RUR 8-9,000.